The following article appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of The Voice.
For almost a century, Graycor has developed a well-earned reputation for serving the needs of the construction industry across the U.S.; a reputation that Graycor Southern Inc. is now striving to build upon in the southeast region.
Founded in 2014, Graycor Southern is the newest member of the Graycor family of companies and is comprised of three divisions that support its client markets: the Power Division, Process Division, and Power Services Division. Earlier this year, the company cut the ribbon at its new headquarters location and fabrication facility in Kennesaw, Georgia; a recognition of Graycor Southern’s incredible success and growth over the last five years. The company currently has roughly 48 full-time home office and project staff, as well as up to 300 craft employees in the field at any given time. The company also maintains sales offices in Charleston and Greenville, South Carolina, as well as in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Graycor Southern serves its partners in the power, process chemical, oil and gas, pulp and paper, and industrial markets through a field-focused dedication to safety, quality, cost, and schedule.
“While we may not always be the lowest cost contractor, we are always the most competent and continuously work to bring the highest value,” says Shawn Buchanan, vice president and general manager of Graycor Southern. “We believe that a project’s needs are best met with boots on the ground and we push to have up to 80 percent of our time spent out in the field, working alongside our craft. This allows us to head off challenges as they occur, rather than sitting back in the office trying to reactively address things that may have already happened.”
Graycor Southern makes every effort to ensure that all of its people go home safely at the end of the day. In this, the company heavily relies on its Cardinal Rules safety program which includes observation programs as a way to prevent injuries from occurring during the course of a project, such as its Good Catch program; which is a combination observation program between its program management, front-line supervisors, and craftsmen. To date, the Good Catch program has netted Graycor Southern approximately 3,700 safety observations.
In order to better disseminate the observations it collects, Graycor Southern has developed its Focus Three program, a real-time dashboard that easily identifies the top three hazards each and every day; from the perspective of a supervisor, a safety professional, and of its craft.
“Sometimes these perspectives align and sometimes they are very different, but our goal is to generate a continuing conversation about safety among all the people on our projects,” says Buchanan.
Graycor Southern believes strongly in being a good community partner. The company is a serving member of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce and routinely participates in numerous local events. It is also a proud member of ABC of Georgia and ABC of the Carolinas, and contributes back to the local community through these organizations.
“Along with SCOAR, we are also co-sponsoring the resurgence of a career and technical education program for the high school in Bremen, Georgia,” says Buchanan. “We will soon be heading out to do a kick off with the first class of technical vocational students they’ve had at that high school in many years. Programming such as this is something that has largely disappeared over the years, and it is something that we feel we need to bring back in order to better promote careers in the construction trade.”
Graycor Southern greatly values its affiliation with SCOAR, regarding membership as a way to strengthen the relationship it has with the owners and clients it serves within a supportive, non-work-related environment.
“SCOAR is unique in that it really provides the top to bottom connections that all contractors in our industry will need to build long-lasting relationships,” says Buchanan. “It’s also a chance for us to interact with our peers in the construction industry and develop a greater understanding of the many issues that we all face, so that we are better equipped to address the ongoing problems affecting our industry in this economy.”